Claude Augustus SWANSON, Congress, VA (1862-1939)

Senate Years of Service:

SWANSON, Claude Augustus, a Representative and a Senator from Virginia; born in Swansonville, Va., March 31, 1862; attended the public schools; taught school; attended the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (now the Virginia Polytechnic Institute) at Blacksburg; graduated from Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, Va., in 1885 and from the law department of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville in 1886; admitted to the bar in 1886 and commenced practice in Chatham, Pittsylvania County, Va.; elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-third and to the six succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1893, until his resignation, effective January 30, 1906; unsuccessful candidate for nomination as governor in 1901; Governor of Virginia 1906-1910; appointed as a Democrat to the United States Senate in August 1910, to fill the vacancy in the term ending March 3, 1911, caused by the death of John W. Daniel; again appointed, on February 28, 1911, and subsequently elected to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John W. Daniel, who had been reelected for the term commencing March 4, 1911; reelected in 1916, 1922 and 1928 and served from August 1, 1910, until March 3, 1933, when he resigned to accept a Cabinet portfolio; chairman, Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds (Sixty-third through Sixty-fifth Congresses), Committee on Naval Affairs (Sixty-fifth Congress), Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Navy (Sixty-sixth Congress); Secretary of the Navy in the Cabinet of President Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933 until his death at Rapidan Camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains, near Criglersville, Madison County, Va., July 7, 1939; funeral services were held in the Chamber of the United States Senate; interment in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Va.


Dictionary of American Biography; Ferrell, Henry C. Jr. Claude A. Swanson: A Political Biography. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1985.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present